Yes. You have expressed my feelings toward this so well.
Leigh Anderson
332

The women who support the march are not trying to negate your experience. Case in point: The “You” in “You are not equal” is a synecdoche. It refers to the whole, to Women in general, not to you yourself. Stop conflating the two. No one is telling you how to feel.

Your experience matters just as much as mine. But that’s not what this is about. This is about the inequality experienced by the vast majority of women, in your country and in many countries across the world, as evidenced by cold, objective facts and underlying trends. This is about women across all strata of society calling into question this blatant inequality that, although not experienced by you yourself, is no less real, no less pernicious.

Look: I’m a wealthy white male tech entrepreneur living in a prosperous democratic capitalist society — the honest-to-goodness textbook definition of privilege. My gender, my skin colour and the free market have liberally bestowed these privileges upon me. But you don’t see me condemning the justified anger of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of wage slaves and victims of economic and gender oppression and anthropogenic climate change worldwide upon whose backs the privileges I was born into were secured. You don’t see me gaslighting their experience!

Just because I started a million rungs up the ladder, does not mean the rungs below me don’t exist. Just because free market capitalism and rampant gender bias work for me, does not mean they work for everyone, or that you or I should settle for them. We shouldn’t. Just because you yourself may indeed have experienced equality before the law, the market and society, does not mean that those who haven’t — i.e., the vast majority of women in your country — shouldn’t march under the banner of “You”, under the banner of Women in general in the hopes of actually, objectively securing equality before the law, the market and society for women in general. Don’t even get me started on minorities.

Accepting the use of the word “You” in the general sense within the sentence “You are not equal” is an exercise in nuance and in empathy: an ability to distinguish between one’s subjective reality and the inter-subjective reality of those less fortunate, an ability to understand, and speak up for, the plight of others. An ability you, Modest Tarantula, and Val Demos demonstrably lack.

Holy Fuck.